I am a bit puzzled as to how to characterize The Best of Adam Sharp. The Rosie Project it is not, in terms of wit, caliber, and all around feel good,I am a bit puzzled as to how to characterize The Best of Adam Sharp. The Rosie Project it is not, in terms of wit, caliber, and all around feel good, laugh-out-loud reading experience. Ostensibly, it is about a midlife crisis and longing to discover what could have been with an old love affair. The use of music - woven into the narrative so that it becomes a soundtrack to the novel was clever and enjoyable. It spurred me to pause my reading and hunt for the songs so I could listen while I read some key scenes. However, I just didn't care enough about Adam Sharp's journey. The old love affair he was obsessing about did not seem as momentous as his nostalgia made it appear. Plus there was a startling turn of erotic events that made me feel embarrassed for the characters....more
Really all I needed was the comparison to, and the blurb by, Kate Morton: “An enthralling story of secrets, sisters, and an unsolved mystery.” Like BlReally all I needed was the comparison to, and the blurb by, Kate Morton: “An enthralling story of secrets, sisters, and an unsolved mystery.” Like Black Rabbit Hall, The Wildling Sisters immediately captivated me – I read it one sitting. I skipped breakfast, ignored the beautiful spring morning beckoning me for a long walk, and immersed myself in Applecote Manor for four hours.
The UK version of this novel is titled The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde, which turns out to be the tragic mystery shadowing the Wilde sisters’ fateful summer of 1959 and the present, where Jessie and her family have bought Applecote Manor. In both narratives, the ghosts of the past loom larger than the living, haunting them.
“’You know those brilliant memories, memories of being young, that get stronger as the years pass? ... They’re the things that settle in the very soul of a girl. The idea of a memory being something that is over, in the past only, is quite wrong, just another grown-up delusion, isn’t it? … A memory is a living thing; it breathes beside you, Jessie, it sits on your shoulder, replays itself over and over…”
The prose is sharp and delicious – I devoured it eagerly. I fell in love with the Wildling sisters – beautiful Flora, sharp-tongued Pam, invisible Margot and baby Dot. And too, I fell in love with Applecot Manor – the very picture of an English country manor, perfect for an idyllic summer full of longing and dark secrets. ...more
Right from the get go, the reader expects a twist to this narrative. Can a guy as nice and with such a tragic past as Jack Harris have concocted an elRight from the get go, the reader expects a twist to this narrative. Can a guy as nice and with such a tragic past as Jack Harris have concocted an elaborate ruse just to murder three strangers in cold blood?
Olivia Randall, Jack’s old girlfriend and top notch defense lawyer is convinced that the guy she used to know couldn’t possibly have done it. But as she delves deeper and deeper into Jack’s life, her conviction begins to falter. Everything the reader finds out about Jack contrasts sharply with all the terrible things Olivia did to Jack twenty years ago. Both are very flawed human beings.
I did end up guessing the “twist” about ¾ of the way in, but until then, my foundations were on shaky ground, switching theories about every other chapter or so with each surprising revelation. The legal details were realistic – I do hate it when crime novels gloss over or completely ignore the legal part for the sake of convenience. Burke’s law background tells and strengthens an already tight and fast moving narrative.
This was a quick, well-paced read for me. Nothing gasp-inducing like Gone Girl, but a good diversion....more
I was in the midst of my yearning for Paris mood (which strikes me frequently throughout the year) when I pounced upon this book. "Paris for One" is tI was in the midst of my yearning for Paris mood (which strikes me frequently throughout the year) when I pounced upon this book. "Paris for One" is the novella which takes up most of the pages and sure enough this delightful rendezvous soothed my ache. An overcautious young woman alone in Paris for the first time discovers she's braver and more adventurous than she thought. It has everything I wanted from a Parisian reading escape and entertained me enormously.
The rest of the short stories are also a mixture, some romantic, some of self-discovery. Some descend to darkness, but not too dark, before its hopeful ending.
One of the stories, “Holdups”, has my favorite dialogue:
“’I realized pretty quickly I couldn’t marry a man without a bookshelf…in his house. Not even a little one in his loo for the Reader’s Digest…He didn’t have one book. Not even a true crime. Or a Jeffrey Archer. I mean, what does that tell you about someone’s character?’” ...more
Confession time: I was about 5/8 through when I realized that this is actually a sequel to The Sin Eater’s Daughter, which explained some questions IConfession time: I was about 5/8 through when I realized that this is actually a sequel to The Sin Eater’s Daughter, which explained some questions I had. Otherwise, I was able to follow along and made some guesses as to the general outline of what happened previously. This novel is set in the same world, but its main character is not the same as in the first (although she does show up at some point). Do you need to read the first novel to fully enjoy this one? Probably. Especially since our protagonist, Errin, keeps wondering what happened to her brother, Lief, who apparently figures prominently in the first book.
The mythology of this world is sufficiently engaging. However, at about 2/3 of the way through, I had a bit of a debate on whether I would continue or no. Not sure why – perhaps because that was my first sitting with the book and I was determined to finish it before going to sleep maybe? I ended up falling asleep against my will and picked it up again the next day refreshed and ready to continue with my harrowing journey with Errin as she tries to take care of her ill mom, escape the creepy clutches of the town leader and make poisons for the mysterious Silas.
The last 1/3 moved pretty fast and there were many revelations, which probably makes it moot to read the 1st book but absolutely imperative to read the last one. Lots of heartbreak in this one but it ends in a note of hope. ...more
I downloaded The Dream Thieves before I was even halfway finished with The Raven Boys. I loved it so much, I wanted to be sure the sequel was ready toI downloaded The Dream Thieves before I was even halfway finished with The Raven Boys. I loved it so much, I wanted to be sure the sequel was ready to go once I read the last page.
As the synopsis indicates, Ronan figures prominently in the sequel, having dropped a bomb on the very last page: that he is able to take things - sometimes live creatures - out of his dreams. Here we find out about why he's so angry all the time and terrible family secrets. "Secret" is the key word here, as Stiefvater emphatically linked it with Ronan in the first book, then again as the second book starts:
"A secret is a strange thing.
"There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself."
The significance of secrets becomes clearer as Dream Thieves progresses. Ronan has every kind of secret, including *SPOILER* the one of his sexuality. If you've noticed the homoerotic tension in the first book, it's addressed in the sequel. Night horrors and dragons and dreamscapes are literal and metaphorical in The Dream Thieves. Metaphorical because Ronan keeps his truth from not only his friends but from himself. Unrequited love and jealousy lead to a fiery, tragic end.
Besides Ronan, new characters appear such as The Gray Man - a deadly, shadowy figure who has turned up in Henrietta looking for the Greywaren, a mysterious object of great power. The Gray Man's storyline echoes the theme of brothers and terrible childhoods but I like how even though this is a young adult novel, Stiefvater gives the adults complex stories of their own, rather than banishing them to oblivious and ineffectual windowdressing. The adults are just as fascinating as the young ones.
Everything I said for the first book is just as true for the second, with an added bonus of a laugh out loud kissing scene, where I assure you, no one dies....more
With comparisons to One Day by David Nicholls (which I loved), I knew I had to read Miss You. The novel is told from points of view alternating from TWith comparisons to One Day by David Nicholls (which I loved), I knew I had to read Miss You. The novel is told from points of view alternating from Tess and Gus over the course of 16 years. The two are from very different backgrounds. Tess is working class and Gus comes from a privileged family. Yet both of them share idealistic, romantic souls and big hearts. Both of them happen to be in Florence in 1997. They’re perfect for each other. And they happen to be in the same church at the same time. The beginning of a meet cute –right?
But they do not meet – at least formally. It is a missed connection that lasts for 16 years where Tess and Gus, through the ups and downs of their separate lives, “meet” at different tangents but never connect. I fell in love with them both, crying over their heartbreaks and tragedies. Tess and Gus go through so much that by the time the final chapters come around, where the reader knows they are finally destined to truly meet, they’ve earned it. It is an instant love that isn’t actually – not with all the disappointments and trials both have had to endure to finally get their fairy tale ending. ...more
I enjoyed the first Peter Grant book, Midnight Riot, immensely. I hadn't read any of the other books before jumping into The Furthest Station, which aI enjoyed the first Peter Grant book, Midnight Riot, immensely. I hadn't read any of the other books before jumping into The Furthest Station, which appears to be #5.7 in the Rivers of London series. Now I wish I had read some of the intervening books. Although I wasn't lost in this world, I did encounter some spoilers. However, I still enjoyed Aaronvitch's sharp prose and unique version of a supernatural London. As with the first, I was laughing out loud at some of the passages and eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next....more